Sunrise on Sunset

October 4, 2012 

After more than two years of work, the Sunset Bridge is back in action starting Monday. Photo/Metro

A wider, modernized Sunset Bridge is set to reopen for business on Monday, September 24, marking a major milestone in the progress of the 405 Project to bring a northbound carpool lane and other improvements to one of the nation’s most heavily-traveled freeways.

The rebuilt bridge will be 120 feet across—30 feet wider than its 1950s-era predecessor. In addition to two travel lanes in each direction, it also has new, dedicated turn lanes for motorists to access the freeway without affecting the flow of east-west traffic. Sidewalks and shoulders are wider, too, and the bridge has been upgraded to current seismic standards.

The bridge provides a major conduit across the Westside, with UCLA on one side and Brentwood on the other. Between 18,000 and 22,000 motorists cross it each weekday.

“It’s a lot wider and much safer,” said Mike Barbour, who is heading up the project for Metro. “It’ll be a lot more comfortable for people to get on and off the freeway.”

Monday’s reopening comes after more than two years of demolition and reconstruction work on the bridge. One final push is needed to complete the job, however, and the bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The bridge will be reduced to a single lane in each direction from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Details are here.

The Sunset Bridge is the first of three overpasses to be demolished and rebuilt during the 405 Project. Demolition work on one of the others, the Mulholland Bridge, will take place on September 29 and 30 will require the weekend-long 405 Freeway closure known as Carmageddon II. Angelenos are being encouraged to “eat, shop and play locally” during the closure and to avoid driving in the area.

Posted 9/20/12

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